Dessau-Törten Housing Estate

Dessau-Törten Housing Estate, Dessau-Roßlau
Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Foto: Sven Hertel;
Dessau-Törten Housing Estate, Dessau-Roßlau


  • 1926 — 1928
  • Walter Gropius

building typology

Housing Estate/settlement

Between 1926 and 1928, Walter Gropius created the first phase of an experimental housing estate in Dessau-Törten that is an exemplary model for economical and functional construction. With his architectural office, Gropius built 314 row houses here. Due to the tremendous housing shortage, many housing estates were built in the 1920s with state subsidies. They also offered an opportunity to experiment with new production techniques and housing forms. In this context, Walter Gropius tested out serial construction and the use of new building materials and details.

His model housing estate featured three different building types with sizes of 57 to 74 square metres and varied exteriors. They were designed to provide an alternative to the conventional housing of big cities, each offering an affordable home of one’s own with a garden to foster self-sufficiency. On-site mass production of the components – mainly using concrete and cinder blocks – and a remarkably fast pace of construction kept costs down. But the first construction defects became apparent even before the work was completed, which also brought criticism to the project.

Gropius joined the bright, two-storey cubic buildings into pairs of semi-detached houses and into terraced groups of up to twelve dwellings each. The exteriors vary depending on the building type, featuring fair-faced concrete and white plastered façades with contrasting black metal window frames. A striking feature is the articulation of the façades with horizontal and vertical window bands. Projections accentuated in grey give further emphasis to this directionality on some of the houses.

Today, the estate no longer exudes the unified appearance that Gropius originally intended. The buildings have been changed over the decades by renovations and alterations made by their inhabitants. But the Anton House, named after its long-time owner, has been largely preserved in its original state and can be visited on a guided tour.

Also on the estate is the Konsum Building, which was designed by Walter Gropius in 1928. It is used today as an information centre and exhibition space for the estate and the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. And other Bauhaus buildings can also be seen in Dessau-Törten: the Steel House by Georg Muche and Richard Paulick, the Fieger House by Carl Fieger and the Laubenganghäuser (Houses with Balcony Access), which were built by the Bauhaus architecture department under the direction of the Bauhaus’s second director, Hannes Meyer. [KS/DK]


Contact and opening hours


Siedlung Dessau-Törten
Kleinring 9
06849 Dessau-Roßlau

Opening hours

The Housing Estate of private houses and private rental apartments is only accessible from the outside and includes various streets, e.g. Am Dreieck, Damaschkestraße, Doppelzeile, Großring, In der Flanke, Kleinring, Mittelring, Nordweg and Südstraße.

conveying formula

Directions by local public transport:

Nächstgelegener Bahnhof der Deutschen Bahn: Dessau-Süd
Nächstgelegene Haltestelle ÖPNV (Bus, Straßenbahn o.ä.): Bus 10 "Siedlung Törten"

Book: Bauhaus 100 Sites of Modernism

Extraordinary sites associated with the Bauhaus and modernism can be found throughout Germany—pioneering architecture that has enduringly shaped our understanding of life and work, learning and living. This travel guide brings the historical and architectural traces of over 100 examples of Neues Bauen building to life, making tangible the impact of the historical Bauhaus beyond the school, its sites and its time.

Video: Anton House in Dessau-Törten

Only German subtitles – #DailyDrone: Haus Anton in the Dessau-Törten estate shows how architect Walter Gropius imagined social housing.

Dessau-Törten Housing Estate: Mittelring 38, 22.06.2017
Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Foto: Sven Hertel
Dessau-Törten Housing Estate: Mittelring 38, 22.06.2017
Dessau-Törten Housing Estate
Stadtarchiv Dessau-Roßlau, Foto: Sven Hertel
Dessau-Törten Housing Estate

This place is part of the tour:

Tour 1

Discover Bauhaus

Weimar, Erfurt, Jena, Gera, Dessau-Roßlau, Magdeburg, Elbingerode, Lutherstadt Wittenberg, Berlin, Potsdam, Caputh und Bernau

Experience the beginnings of the Bauhaus in Weimar and admire its outstanding legacy, which spreads from Dessau-Roßlau to the striking residential buildings in Berlin.

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Tillmann Franzen, © Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau